Author: Linda

06 Jul 2020

Loaded Cold Tuna Salad

The hot days of July call for a lunch that is light, refreshing and doesn’t involve turning on your oven.  This tuna salad checks all of  those boxes and is quick and easy to boot!!   Perfect for summer and can be made ahead of time as well. 

 

Instructions:

  • 3 cans of sustainably caught tuna (drained)
  • ½ cup diced cucumbers
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tsp minced jarred garlic (or 2-3 minced cloves)
  • 1½ Tbsp spicy brown or dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp approved mayo
  • juice of half a lime or lemon
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl and drizzle with lime juice to keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add tuna, cucumbers, carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, mayo and salt and pepper.  Mix briefly to combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Fold in the mashed avocado.
  4. Drizzle with the EVOO.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.
  6. Serve over a bed of greens, in a lettuce wrap or as a side with your favorite veggies.
22 May 2020

Grain-Free (Keto) Bread

This might be one of the easiest bread recipes to make, not to mention one of the best tasting.  If you do not have psylium husk in your pantry, it might be a good idea to invest in some (Amazon is easiest).  Also, let’s briefly mention the paleo flour.  I have it in some of my other recipes and it really is convenient for use in any grain-free baking.  I usually make my own (my recipe is posted).  You can also purchase it, however, it can be difficult to find in grocery stores.  

If your pantry is not stocked with the ingredients you need for this bread, it will require a little effort initially.  However, when you smell it baking in your oven and bite into a warm slice slathered with grass-fed butter, it will have been so worth it!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup paleo flour
  • ¼ cup psyllium husk
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together over a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix together.
  4. Stir in the warm water (if adding honey, stir into the warm water prior to adding).
  5. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until bread is a deep golden brown.
  7. Once removed from the oven, take the bread out of the pan and place on a cooling rack.
  8. Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing.  (If you can…the smell is amazing!!)
02 May 2020

Loaded Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole

I posted a recipe similar to this a while back and it has become somewhat of a family favorite so I decided to do a revamp.  This time around I amped up the flavors in the sauce and added sliced red onions and bacon.  Just a few tweaks took this average casserole and transformed it into an amazing one!  (There’s just something about bacon that makes everything taste better!!)  

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil, for roasting vegetables
  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into larger cubes
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into chunks or shredded
  • 4-6 slices of uncooked bacon, cut into pieces (I used Applegate Organics Uncured bacon)
  • 1-1½ cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach, torn into larger pieces (optional)
  • ½-¾ cup Primal mayo (or other approved mayo)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown or dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • 1-1½ tsp oregano
  • 1-1½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.  Place the sweet potatoes and red onion onto the pan.  Drizzle with the avocado oil, toss together and season with salt, pepper and half of the oregano, garlic powder and paprika.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking time.  (It is not necessarily for these to be completely tender as they will go in the oven a second time.)
  4. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, hot sauce, mustard, honey and remainder of the spices.  Set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, add the cut-up chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, spinach and half of the shredded cheese.
  7. Pour the prepared buffalo sauce over the top and gently stir.  Place into a greased 9×13 casserole dish.
  8. Distribute the bacon pieces over the top and sprinkle the remaining cheese over entire casserole.
  9. If desired, shake some smoked paprika over the cheese for a touch of color.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbling and warmed completely through.
14 Apr 2020

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Banana Nut Bread

When you taste this banana nut bread, you will find it difficult to believe it is both grain-free and sugar-free!  It is not overly sweet like most quick breads but instead has the perfect amount of sweetness.  The addition of the applesauce makes the bread so moist and of course, if you love chocolate, the chocolate chips are a must! (But not a deal breaker if you so choose.)

**My subpar photography skills makes the bread appear a little dry.  I can assure you, that is not the case!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2-3 large bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (room temperature, otherwise it will cause the coconut oil to solidify)
  • ¼ cup Monkfruit sweetener
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of Lily’s chocolate chips (no sugar added) chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper.  (I usually put a bit of oil on the bottom of the pan to hold the paper in place.
  3. Add all of the dry ingredients to a sifter and sift into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  If you do not have a sifter, simply add the ingredients directly to the bowl.  Set aside.
  4. To a large mixing bowl, add the bananas, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla and Monkfruit.  Mix together with an electric hand mixer.  Add the eggs and beat until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix by hand or with the electric mixer.
  6. Fold in the walnuts and the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly.
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Ovens vary so check in on your bread occasionally.  If it appears to be getting to dark before it is done, place a sheet of foil lightly over the top.  (Almond flour tends to brown more quickly.)
08 Apr 2020

Spaghetti Squash Tuna Casserole

I think most of us know by now that spaghetti squash makes a great substitute for pasta.  Well, this tuna casserole is no exception.  If you grew up with the “classic” tuna casserole (noodles, cream of mushroom soup, tuna and canned peas), then this casserole will bring back old memories but with a new and healthier twist! 

Note:  I happen to love ginger so any opportunity I can take to add it to a dish, I will!  If you don’t have fresh ginger, substitute a teaspoon or so of ground ginger or there is always the option of omitting it all together. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
  • 3 small sized cans of tuna (wild caught variety)
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • ½ cup approved mayo (made with avocado oil)
  • 2 Tbsp dijon or brown mustard
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-1½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • ½-¾ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil, for sautéing
  • ½ tsp salt (I use Redmond’s Real Salt)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese (or cheese of choice)
  • chopped chives, garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the spaghetti squash.  Carefully slice squash in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place in glass casserole pan, face side down.  Add a small amount of water to the pan.  Bake for about 40 minutes.  Check doneness by poking with a fork.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Using a fork, remove the squash from the shells with long strokes to create strands.  You can do this into a separate bowl or directly back into the casserole pan (making sure there is no remaining water and that your pan is sprayed or greased).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tuna, mayo, mustard, green chilis, grated ginger, garlic powder, half of the salt and pepper.  Mix and set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in the onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and ginger and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk, flour and spices to the skillet.  Whisk together with the onions and mushrooms.  Allow this to cook so the sauce can thicken.
  7. Add sauce in with the tuna mixture.  Stir to combine.
  8. If spaghetti squash is in a bowl, add it to the prepared casserole pan.  Layer the peas over the top of the squash.
  9. Pour the tuna and sauce mixture over the squash and peas.  Spread evenly over entire pan.
  10. Lastly, spread your cheese over the top and sprinkle with a little extra paprika.
  11. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or when casserole is bubbly and warmed through.  I made mine in the morning and put it in the fridge until evening.  In this case, it will take longer to bake than if your ingredients are still somewhat warm.
  12. Allow to sit briefly before cutting.
06 Mar 2020

Baked Mediterranean Artichoke Hearts with Goat Cheese

When someone says, “artichokes”, what’s the one dish that comes to mind?  Spinach artichoke dip, right?  Yummy, but definitely not something you should be serving as your vegetable side for dinner.  Artichoke hearts are one of those vegetables that seems to get lost in the vegetable shuffle mainly because most of us don’t know what to do with them.  So if you’re looking for a side that’s a little “outside the box”, give this recipe a try!    

Note:  I always keep bags of frozen artichoke hearts on hand.  They are so convenient and I will randomly toss them in a dish for something unexpected.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 12 oz bags frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
  • 1-1½ cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup sliced green or Kalamata olives (I used a combination)
  • 4 oz goat, feta or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp dried parsley

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet, add the olive oil for sautéing.  When oil is hot, add the onions and sauté for several minutes until translucent.
  3. Over medium heat, stir in the spices, garlic, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Sauté for several minutes while stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and add the sun-dried tomatoes and the olives.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, toss hemp seeds with the other portion of olive oil.
  5. Crumble the goat cheese over the top of the skillet mixture and sprinkle the hemp seed crumble over the top.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
26 Feb 2020

Italian Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Did you know there was a National Soup Day?  Yep, February 4th was officially National Homemade Soup Day!   Of course, I think every day is a great day to celebrate soup.  And the best thing, even an “average” cook can pull off a great soup! 

There are just a few notes I would like to share for this soup recipe:  1) The ACV is optional.  It adds a nice little zing and contrast to the heat undertones which I happen to like.  It also pairs nicely with the tomato base of the soup.  2)  I thickened my soup with 1-2 tsp of arrowroot flour.  I added a little too much broth and  I prefer a thicker, heartier soup. I simple scooped out about ¼ cup of the soup broth, whisked in the arrowroot flour and then stirred it back into the soup when it was at a low boil.  3)  You will notice that the last picture shows that I added some Shirataki noodles.  If you are not familiar with these, they are a gluten-free/grain-free option for pasta.  They are made from the Japanese konjac yam and are translucent and gelatinous in texture.  They come packaged in a fishy-smelling liquid but don’t let that scare you.  Just drain, rinse and they are good to go.  No need to cook them so add them at the end.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-1½ lbs organic ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • ½ large red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ can tomato paste (about 3-4 Tbsp)
  • 1-1½ cup packaged shredded carrots (roughly chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted)
  • 2-4 cups of beef or chicken broth (based on your thickness preference)
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach or 1-2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp ACV (optional)
  • 1 package of Shirataki noodles (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, onion, bell peppers and garlic.  Sauté until turkey is browned through.  Stirring throughout.
  3. Add spices, tomato paste and carrots.  Stirring continuously, cook for 4-5 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and broth.  Stir to combine and bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low.  Add ACV, if desired.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Add spinach approximately 10 minutes before cooking time is done.
20 Feb 2020

Mexican Beef Stew

If you know me at all, you know that I am a big fan of anything Mexican!  However, going out to a Mexican restaurant is most definitely a splurge for me which is why I love making Mexican at home.  If I get the chance to put a Mexican twist on a dish, I will and this Mexican beef stew did not disappoint.  Cooking the stew “low and slow” in the oven is really what makes this stew extra tasty.  All those flavors have time to come together and the meat is so tender, it literally melts in your mouth.

The last time I made this stew I made the mistake of only using 1 lb of meat.  Well, it was soooo good that I knew if there was a next time, I would be doubling the recipe.  So here you go!  Adjust your amounts according to how spicy you like it and on how much meat you’re using.  In other words, “you do you”!!

Note:  If you do not have an ovenproof pot, you could also allow this to simmer on the stovetop over very low heat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs organic (grass-fed) stew beef, cubed
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil, for browning
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning beef during browning
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large can stewed tomatoes (you could also add some salsa in with this)
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • ¼ cup beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1½ Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • juice of ½ lime (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the oil to a dutch oven (or oven proof pot) and heat over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the stew meat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and allow the meat to cook just until browned (about 3-4 minutes).  Stirring throughout.
  6. Add the onions, garlic and seasonings.  Stir and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the chiles, stewed tomatoes and beef broth.
  8. Briefly bring to a boil.  Turn heat off, cover and move to the oven.
  9. Bake for approximately 2½ hours.  Check halfway to make sure there is enough liquid.
  10. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top before serving.

 

** Enjoy this stew served along side a fresh salad or vegetable or served over a favorite dish such as Mexican cauliflower rice or quinoa.

05 Feb 2020

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I like the idea of having one “go to” cookie recipe that I know I can count on to turn out cookies that taste great and are a favorite of most.  This recipe is my choice for just that!  The big question however is, what kind of chocolate chip cookie texture do you prefer?  Is it flat and crispy or is it chewy in the middle and crispy around the edges?  In the pictures above, I show both.  The only difference is the flatter cookies have less almond flour.  So how do you like your chocolate chip cookies?    

Notes:  I used 2 different types of sugar, organic coconut sugar and Monkfruit.  The coconut sugar has a similar quality to brown sugar which is often found in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes.  For the other half of my sweetener, I used Monkfruit which would replace white sugar in a non-Paleo recipe (you could also use an organic cane sugar).  Secondly, I gave a range for the almond flour for texture preferences, depending on how you like your cookies.  Start with the lesser amount.  You can always add more, if needed.  I will often do a bake test by baking a couple of cookies initially to see how they turn out.  If too flat for my liking, I add more flour and try again.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1¾-2 cups almond flour  (For the best accuracy, spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping you measuring cup into the flour.)
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup Monkfruit or Swerve
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (I use Lily’s.  You could also use Enjoy Life.)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together to combine and get out any lumps.  Set aside.
  3. Add the coconut oil, coconut sugar and Monkfruit to a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes to ensure they are well incorporated.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.
  5. Combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients and mix with a large spoon.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a small scooper, place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad or parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly.
  10. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and allow to cool completely.

 

 

 

31 Jan 2020

Cashew Chicken Liver Stir Fry

I know, I know…another liver post!  This one has an Asian twist to it and is delish and super easy make!  The most important thing to remember when cooking liver is not to overcook it.  It cooks up very quickly.  Give it a try!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed chicken livers, cut up (pat dry and season with salt and pepper)
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter ( or almond butter)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • chopped green onion, topping

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add half of avocado oil.  When hot, add broccoli, onion and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
  5. In the same skillet, add remaining oil and return to medium heat.  Add the chicken liver. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side.  Flip and cook until browned and cooked through.  It doesn’t take long!
  6. Add vegetables back into skillet and combine with the liver.
  7. Pour sauce over entire mixture and toss to combine.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the cashew pieces.
  9. Serve over cauliflower rice or enjoy as is!